Summary: What does God expect His servants to do with all that He has given them? All the talents, gifts, and opportunities? God expects His servants to live life with dignity and decency.

22 February 2006

Strong Man; weak Mind

Judges 16:1-16:31

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger asked an assistant to prepare an analysis on a special assignment.

The assistant worked night and day.

An hour after he gave it to Kissinger, he got it back.

There was a note attached that said “redo it.”

The assistant stayed up all night redoing the report.

Again he submitted the report, but again Kissinger asked him to redo it again.

After redoing the report three times, the frustrated assistant asked to see Kissinger.

He pleaded his case to Kissinger; he told him that he was tired of working on the report, and said, “Besides, I’ve done the best I can do.”

Kissinger replied, “In that case, I’ll read it now.

The lesson today is about one of the best known men in the Bible.

Samson was the most gifted, powerful, and feared judge that Israel ever had, but he failed to give his very best to God; he squandered much of what he had been given and only redeemed himself at the very last minute.

The last war that took place during the era of the Judges was an ongoing war with the Philistines.

Time and again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years, which was the longest duration of suffering in the land, before Samson appeared on the scene.

What does God expect His servants to do with all that He has given them?

All the talents, gifts, and opportunities?

God expects His servants to live life with dignity and decency.

Judges 16:1-4says that "One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, "Samson is here!" So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, "At dawn we’ll kill him." But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.”

1988 was a disaster waiting to happen for Christians, especially in this country.

Two of the biggest TV evangelists - Jimmy Baker and Jimmy Swaggart - had a very ugly, public fallout that reverberated till today.

They were Christianity’s media darlings, biggest fundraisers, and the most charismatic, powerful, and visible stars.

First, Jim Bakker made a stunning announcement that he was stepping down as head of PTL and Heritage USA in anticipation of a newspaper’s revelation of an affair Bakker had with a church secretary.

America’s first televangelist paid some $265,000 to cover up the affair.

Later he was convicted of misspending millions of his follower’s dollars.

Rival preacher Jimmy Swaggart called the Bakker scandal a cancer.

Next to fall was Jimmy Swaggart, the Pentecostal preacher who preached to 7,000 weekly in his congregation.

A short three months later, Swaggart was photographed entering and leaving a New Orleans motel where, it was later divulged, he had hired a prostitute to pose nude for him.

The woman who later posed for Penthouse magazine said of Swaggart, “He was "kind of perverted...I wouldn’t want him around my children."

Two years later Swaggart was stopped by the police in California, again with a prostitute in his car.

The Chinese have a saying, “A hero has difficulty overcoming a woman’s beauty.”

Samson had no problem resisting power, fame or money, but he let sex, lust, and temptation ruin him.

He lived a life of self-indulgence, covitness, and pleasure.

In private and when he went out in public, he was promiscuous, vulgar, and depraved.

He was the master of men but the slave of women.

He was a savage with Philistine men but a pussy cat with their women.

He had strong physical strength but fatal moral weaknesses.

Samson’s steps took him to sleazy places, dirty beds, and narrow, crooked, and run-down streets, where a fast buck would buy him a cheap thrill and a night’s rest.

Even worse than that, he had no sense of decency, guilt or shame.

He did not even wear a hat, a wig, or a cloak to conceal his identity or cover his tracks.

He did not know, wonder, or care if others knew what he was doing.

Discretion, good manners, and secrecy did not cross his mind and were not his concern.

He was a man of low morals, bad taste, and poor choices.

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